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This book examines monastic discipline for Buddhist nuns in the Pali tradition. It attempts first to gain a better understanding of the Pali texts and then to formulate an historical view of Buddhist discipline for nuns through detailed study of some problems in the Bhikkhuni Vinaya, comparing Pali texts with texts from other extant Vinaya traditions.
The author deals primarily with the rules in two categories of the Patimokkha code: defeat (the most serious offence which entails expulsion from the Sangha) and an offence requiring confession.
The author's main theme concerns specific discrepancies and puzzles in the Pali Vinaya. A subsidiary theme is the discrimination that Vinaya shows against women - discrimination in the sense of differentiating, and to the disadvantage of the women. (From the author's introduction)